Library Europe's largest nursing-specific collection

Doing your Dissertation

"Normally, an undergraduate dissertation will be based on a critique of a small selection of evidence and be applied to one focussed aspect of the student’s practice.” (Glasper and Rees, 2012, Evaluating research articles from start to finish). Use this guide to find information resources to help you develop skills for undertaking an undergraduate dissertation.

Last updated: 25/06/2021

Library search tools

How to undertake a literature search
  • An interactive guide to take you through your search one step at a time.
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Books, Journals and Databases
  • For a dissertation you will also need to complete more thorough searches using our range of databases. It is likely that CINAHL will be the most useful database but we have many others that are worth considering. They are particularly useful in searching for journal articles.
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CINAHL database - introduction
CINAHL database - advanced searching with suggest subject headings
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Guide to searching CINAHL
Guide to British Nursing Index (BNI)

Literature searching video tutorials

Literature searching video tutorials
  • You can find our full range of video tutorials here. These offer guidance on using our website and searching for online journals.
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Books

Aveyard, H, Sharp, P and Woolliams, M. (2015) A beginner’s guide to critical thinking and writing in health and social care Aveyard H, Sharp P and Woolliams M (2015) A beginner’s guide to critical thinking and writing in health and social care. 2nd edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Aveyard H and Sharp P (2017) A beginner’s guide to evidence-based practice in health and social care (3rd edition), Maidenhead: Open University Press. Aveyard H and Sharp P (2017) A beginner’s guide to evidence-based practice in health and social care. 3rd edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Aveyard H (2019) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide (4th edition), London: Open University Press. Aveyard H (2019) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide. 4th edn. London: Open University Press.
Bettany-Saltikov, J (2016) How to do a systematic literature review in nursing: a step by step guide Bettany-Saltikov J (2016) How to do a systematic literature review in nursing: a step by step guide. 2nd edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Coughlan M and Cronin P (2017) Doing a literature review in nursing, health and social care (2nd edition), Los Angeles: Sage. Coughlan M and Cronin P (2021) Doing a literature review in nursing, health and social care. 3rd edn. Los Angeles: Sage.
De Brún, C and Pearce-Smith, N (2014) Searching skills toolkit: finding the evidence De Brún C and Pearce-Smith N (2014) Searching skills toolkit: finding the evidence. 2nd edn. Chichester: BMJ Books.
Greenhalgh T (2019) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine and healthcare (6th edition), Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. Greenhalgh T (2019) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine and healthcare. 6th edn. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.
Hewitt-Taylor J (2017) The Essential Guide to Doing a Health and Social Care Literature Review, London: Routledge. Hewitt-Taylor J (2017) The essential guide to doing a health and social care literature review, London: Routledge.
Price B and Harrington A (2019) Critical thinking and writing in nursing. 4th edn. Los Angeles: Learning Matters. Price B and Harrington A (2021) Critical thinking and writing in nursing. 5th edn. Los Angeles: Learning Matters.
Williamson G R and Whittaker A (2019) Succeeding in Literature Reviews and Research Project Plans for Nursing Students. 4th edn. Thousand Oaks: Learning Matters. Williamson G R and Whittaker A (2019) Succeeding in Literature Reviews and Research Project Plans for Nursing Students. 4th edn. Thousand Oaks: Learning Matters.

Book subject searches

Use these links to see details of books the RCN libraries hold on each topic.

Journal articles

Watson M (2020) How to undertake a literature search: a step-by-step guide, British Journal of Nursing, 29(7), pp. 431–435.
Key J (2020) How to undertake a literature search: enhancing your search, British Journal of Nursing, 29(8), pp. 481–483.
Use these links for details of journal articles on each topic.

Accessibility resources

MyStudyBar
  • MyStudyBar is free assistive software to help learners with literacy-related difficulties including dyslexia. It can offer potential benefits to all learners. It includes mind mapping software, a text to audio reader and screen colour overlays. My StudyBar only works on Windows PCs. It is free to download and can be used from a USB stick.
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Gribben, M (2012) The study skills toolkit for students with dyslexia Gribben M (2012) The study skills toolkit for students with dyslexia, London: Sage.
Hargreaves S and Crabb J (2016) Study skills for students with dyslexia: support for specific learning differences (SpLDs). 3rd edn. Los Angeles: SAGE. Hargreaves S and Crabb J (2016) Study skills for students with dyslexia: support for specific learning differences (SpLDs). 3rd edn. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Referencing

Royal College of Nursing (2021) Referencing guidelines. London: RCN.
  • If you are looking for an example of Harvard referencing you may find our guidelines a useful example. You should always follow the referencing guidelines of your university however. They will be different to these guidelines as there are many versions of Harvard referencing.
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Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. Pears R and Shields G (2019) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 11th edn. London: Macmillan.

Upcoming events relating to this subject guide

Page last updated - 25/06/2021